CENTERVILLE — Three Elks’ players scored in double figures Friday and limited the Thunderbolts to only one double digit scorer as Centerville handed Northmont only its fourth loss of the season, 63-52.
Alec Grandin scored 14, Keegan Saben led the Elks with 19 and Jevon Henderson tallied 14. Point guard Rodney Richardson scored a game-high 21 points to lead Northmont.
The Elks, coming off a close 42-38 loss Tuesday at Wayne, played a more up-tempo game against Northmont. The Thunderbolts held a one point lead at the end of the first quarter. Henderson, a 6-foot, 2-inch forward that had been averaging about four points a game, scored three consecutive baskets to open the second quarter and Grandin buried a 3-pointer to give Centerville a 19-13 lead early in the second quarter.
Northmont limited the Elks to only one more basket the remainder of the quarter but could only muster three scores of its own as Centerville took a 21-18 into the locker room at the half.
“A couple days of practice after the Wayne game where we re-emphasized what we want to do resulted in our guys being much more aggressive,” said Centerville Coach Brook Cupps. “We just need to clean the turnovers up, but I liked the pace of our game tonight. We played aggressive and looking to score and looking to attack guys and trying to take advantage of what the defense gave us, so from that perspective I thought our guys did a nice job.”
The Thunderbolts came out on the attack in the second half. Baskets by Arius Spears, two by DaLonte Capers and one by Richardson gave Northmont a 28-23 lead at the 5:38 mark. Northmont maintained a 36-32 late in the quarter but Henderson scored on an inside spin move and Donnie Shelton buried a trey to put the Elks up 37-36. Centerville held a 39-38 advantage entering the final eight minutes of play.
Christian Wilson came up with a steal to open the fourth quarter and dished to Richardson for a quick layup to put Northmont back on top 40-39 and prompted the Elks to call timeout with 7:46 remaining. Henderson scored inside to put the Elks back on top by one and then Northmont stepped out of bounds on two consecutive possessions, and that seemed to trigger a momentum swing in the Elks favor.
Saben scored inside and drew a foul from Wilson, sank the free throw to put the Elks up 46-42 and for the rest of the contest the Elks gradually pulled away to post an 11 point victory.
“I felt like we did just enough to stick around in the first half and in the third quarter early we started to get some momentum and a five point lead before they came back and banged in two 3-pointers on their next two possessions and another shortly after that,” said Northmont Coach Collin Abels. “The final score is very deceiving. Anybody that was here knows that this was anybody’s ball game with two minutes to go. I’m not disappointed in our kids’ effort. Obviously I am disappointed in the outcome, but like I told the guys, they make six threes and none of them are their top two scorers. They had some kids make some shots that statistically haven’t been making them. Henderson got 15 points and he averages four or five points a game. They made some plays down the stretch and made some shots in critical situations.”
NMT 11 18 38 52 – 52
CEN 10 2139 63 – 63
Northmont: Christian Wilson 2, Maurice Beavers 4, Vinson Walker 6, Rodney Richardson 21, Arius Spears 6, Tyree Trammell 2, Jabari Perkins 3, DaLonte Capers 8. Totals: 21-8-52.
Centerville: Donnie Shelton 5, Alec Grandin 14, Adam Velasco 2, Ryan Marchal 6, Keegan Saben 19, Sam Lash 2, Jevon Henderson 15. Totals: 23-11-63.
3-point goals: Northmont 2 (Richardson, Perkins); Centerville 6 (Grandin 3, Marchal 2, Shelton).
Records: Northmont 13-4 (6-2), Centerville 9-5 (6-2).
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind